12 February

National Plum Pudding Day

Sugar My Plums

So we are drinking a...

Sugar My Plums

Plum Pudding Day has arrived, and it's time to celebrate one of the most unique and beloved holiday desserts of all time. The history of plum pudding is long and storied, with roots stretching back hundreds of years to mediaeval England.

For those unfamiliar with plum pudding, it's a dessert made from suet, dried fruit, breadcrumbs, sugar, and spices. When the dish was first created, raisins, currants, figs and other dried fruits were referred to collectively as plums, so despite its name, the plum pudding contains no actual plums.

The origins of plum pudding can be traced back to mediaeval England, where it was served as a main course for Christmas dinner. In those days, the pudding was a symbol of wealth and prosperity, and it was often made with ingredients like meat, spices, and wine. Over time, the recipe evolved and (thankfully) the pudding became sweeter, with the addition of sugar and dried fruit.

Fast forward to the 19th century, and 'figgy pudding' had become a staple of the Christmas season. Queen Victoria was a big fan of the dessert, and her love for it helped to popularise the dish throughout the British Empire. Today, plum pudding remains a staple of holiday meals, both in the UK and around the world.

So why is plum pudding such a special dessert? For starters, it's packed full of flavour, thanks to its rich combination of dried fruit, spices, and suet. But it's also a dessert with a rich cultural history, one that has been passed down through generations and has remained a beloved part of the holiday season.

But if this unique and delicious dessert isn't quite your bag, maybe we could tempt you with a Sugar My Plums instead? This light, cleansing and aromatic aperitivo may be more Japanese in style than your typical English plum pudding but at least plums make an appearance in this recipe!

It's also the anniversary of The Scream heist

This day in 1994, as the Winter Olympics opened up the road in Lillehammer, curators in Norway's National Gallery in Oslo, arrived at work to find a broken window, a missing artwork, and a postcard reading "Thanks for the poor security".

The most valuable of four versions of The Scream, worth some $70 million and undoubtedly Norway's most famous work of art, was gone. The painting, it was argued, was too famous to sell. And so, when a $1 million ransom demand came through the next month, the gallery refused to pay.

Then, in May, an undercover sting recaptured the painting and, in 1996, four men were convicted of the theft: one of them, Pål Enger, a former professional footballer turned self-proclaimed "gentleman thief", started painting in 2007 while in prison and in March 2011 opened his own art exhibition.

In honour of a heist that makes Ocean's Eleven look rather tame, we're drinking a Cheeky Monkey.

Santiago was founded this day

Spanish Conquistador, Pedro de Valdiva, stood on Huelen Hill (now known as Cerro Santa Lucia) this day in 1541 and conducted a founding ceremony for the city of Santiago, Chile's capital.

The site was chosen for its climate, and lush vegetation, though there were initially quite a few teething problems when the Incas didn't take too kindly to the Spanish invasion. Still, within about 20 years, the settlement was stabilised, and began to be populated pretty damned quickly - nowadays, there are more than five million people living in Santiago!

There's no way that a South American celebration could take place without the presence of pisco, so we're suggesting what is, arguably, Chile's national drink... mix a Pisco Sour tonight, and raise a glass to Santiago - its past, present and future.

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